Start Strong

I love the start of a new year. It’s a magical time for me. I feel energized and excited to grow. It’s a good time to look back and celebrate past successes, reflect on recent failures and set the course for another year of growth and learning.

Here are some of the actions I take to start the year strong. 

  1. Revisit 2019. What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What worked? What could have worked better? Take the time to look at last year without judgement. Celebrate your successes. Learn from your mistakes. Look for the nuggets, the lessons learned.
  2. Write down your goals for 2020. Writing down your goals gets them out of your head. Having you goals in black and white makes them real. The process of writing them down moves them from a ‘wish’ to a ‘to-do’. When writing my goals I use the SMART [Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic + Timely] method. 
  3. Choose a word or a theme for the year. I choose one word every year as a theme or focus for the year. Some years my word has been the thing I most need to work other years its what I most want to celebrate. My word for 2020 is FOCUS. 
  4. Share your goals. Once I have my goals written out, I share them with the people who hold me accountable and I put them on my goal board. My goal board hangs where I see it every day. This year my husband and I decided to hang it in our bedroom so we see it more often. 
  5. Take one small risk a day. Lasting change happens when we take small risks consistently over time. I begin the year with a short list of small risks I want to take. Then I choose one a day to act on. Take these small risks stretches me and requires me to step out of my current comfort zone. 
  6. Pace yourself. Going after your goals requires the discipline of pacing yourself. Too many of us go after our goals so hard for the first two weeks of the year that we burn ourselves out and then give up. PACE. Move purposefully ahead at a decent pace. 
  7. Check-in weekly. I take fifteen minutes or so at the end of each week to check-in with my goals and progress for the week. Regular check-ins create more movement. We take more action on the things we are tracking. 


“Start strong, stay strong, and finish strong by always remembering why you’re doing it in the first place.” (Ralph Marston)